StoneBridge Community Church
The Unexpected: Advent - Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the Wife of Urriah
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
Locations & Times
  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

Online Connection Card

Thanks for joining us today! Follow this link to our online Connection Card where you can let us know you were here and share any prayer concerns.

Worship With Generosity

Thanks for partnering with us in our mission to reach people with the good news of God's love, to make disciples, and to send them out. Secure online giving via PayPal.
The Unexpected: Advent

Matthew prepares us for Jesus' birth by recounting those who came before Jesus. However, Matthew's account differs with other accounts of Jesus' lineage in the Bible. When you look closely, Matthew has included numerous unexpected names. What do these names tell us about Jesus and how can the stories behind these names prepare us for Jesus' return?
Sermon Outline

I. Advent - Time of preparation for Jesus

II. Matthew prepares us for Jesus through a genealogy
A. Matthew's genealogy is different than others in the Bible.
B. Doesn't line up with the historical documents in the Bible.
1. Kings have the wrong names.
2. The number of Kings doesn't add up.
3. Matthew includes women.

III. Matthew includes the "wrong" women.
A. Sara, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah would be more standard.
B. Matthew doesn't include them. Instead he includes:
1. Tamar - She is part of scandalous story.
2. Rahab - She is def. not Jewish and part of a scandalous story.
3. Ruth - Maybe part of a scandalous story, def. not Jewish.
4. Wife of Urriah - Likely not Jewish, scandal, and Matthew may dislike her.
C. Matthew includes shocking people to introduce Jesus to us.

IV. Whatever you may think Jesus came to do, Matthew makes clear that Jesus entered the world to extend God's mercy.
A. Bruner quote - "God's mercy is deep and wide."
B. When law comes into conflict with mercy, Mercy always wins, according to Jesus in Matthew.

V. When we celebrate Jesus entering into the world, we celebrate God's mercy.
A. God decided to work through surprising people.
B. How might God surprise you now?
C. Through whom might God surprise you now?

Article on Advent

Here is an explanation of what "Advent is."

Biblical Genealogies

Here is the wikipedia page on Biblical genealogies. Looking at the patterns from the various genealogies can help display why Matthew's is so unique.
Stories of Women in the OT

Pastor Jon mentioned a number of stories that Matthew references. These stories can be found in:

Tamar - Gen. 38
Rahab - Joshua 2
Ruth - Book of Ruth
Wife of Urriah (Bathsheeba) - 2 Samuel 11

Notice that each of these stories features a woman who is either not Jewish or is part of a scandalous situation.

Typically, if one were to mention four women in Jewish writing, the four women would be Sara, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel - the wives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Matthew chose to highlight four other, very different women.
Quote from Dale Bruner:

Reflecting on the inclusion of the four women in Matthew's genealogy, New Testament scholar Dale Bruner writes:

"...Matthew's "New Genesis" gives us, as it were, four new matriarchs, and all of them preach the gospel of God's deep (forgiven-sinners) and wide (included-gentiles) mercy."

According to Bruner, the teaching to glean from this is that God wants a very wide, very deep mercy front and center in Jesus' story. A mercy that both encompasses and is enacted by the most surprising of people.

1. Have you looked closely at Matthews Genealogy before? If so, what was your impression of it?

2. Matthew includes 4 unexpected women in his genealogy. All four women are either not Jewish or are parts of a scandalous story. What point do you think Matthew is trying to make by highlighting these women in Jesus' lineage?

3. NT Scholar Dale Bruner says that Matthew is emphasizing God's "deep and wide" mercy. Do you agree with Bruner? How does this understanding of the genealogy change your perception of God's mercy?

4. Is there someone, or a group of people, that you can model God's mercy to better than you have? Who are they? In what ways could you concretely show God's mercy?

1. Make a list of the people you think God would be least likely to work through.

2. Are there any common factors among those people? What are they?

3. Pray that God would work through those very people to help you understand how deep and wide God's mercy is.

One way our church family celebrates the holy season is through our special Heart of Christmas offering. This year, The Heart of Christmas offering will be divided between four important ministries that make a difference all year long—IMPACT, Samaritan Center, Sarah’s House, and James Storehouse. For more information on each of these ministries and to make a donation, please click below..

The Deacon Angel Tree provides an opportunity to help other families in our congregation and community who may be in need this Christmas season. The Deacons invite you to share the Christmas cheer by donating gift cards in any amount for grocery stores, Target, Walmart, restaurants, or food delivery services. Purchased gift cards can be dropped off during weekend services or at the church office. Please turn in gift cards by December 10th. The Deacons thank you for your generosity!

Contribute to worship this Advent season and help decorate a special advent Christmas Tree! For the next few weekends, grab an ornament from the ministry table, make a dedication in honor of or in memory of a loved one, or write a special prayer. Ornaments can be placed on the tree during worship starting in December.

We encourage you to use Facebook, Instagram, and other social media to share images, quotes, links, or what you've learned from this week's message and YouVersion message notes. Social media can also be a great way of inviting your friends to worship and special events.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Instagram for up-to-date information and inspirational messages.

Like our Facebook page!

Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date information and inspirational messages.

Watch us on YouTube or listen to our Podcast!

While there is no substitute for worshipping God with others, if you happen to miss a message you can always catch us on YouTube or listen to our Podcast on your favorite podcast app!